Chiapas: Forum “Exclusion…. Neoliberal Inclusion” examines the Sustainable Rural Cities

June 4, 2012

On 18 and 19 May, the Forum titled “Exclusion… Neoliberal inclusion: Looks at the Sustainable Rural Cities” was held at the CIDECI-Unitierra in San Cristóbal de las Casas.  The Forum was organized by different universities and organizations, including UNAM, CIESAS, and the Chiapas Peace Network.  The methodology of the forum included several rounds dealing with questions such as “Life in the Rural Cities,” “Territorial reorganization and counterinsurgency,” “State-firm, UN-State, public policy,” “The media reality: simulation and censorship,” as well as “Alternatives. Lekil kuxlejal, autonomy, utopia.”  Beyond presentations given by 15 investigators of the CRS Program, testimonies were presented by residents of two CRS currently in operation: Nuevo San Juan Grijalva and Santiago El Pinar.

All those who participated concurred in their critiques of this project, which was either poorly consulted with those it would affect, or not at all.  Dolores Camacho, UNAM researcher, spoke of the CRS in Santiago el Pinar en the Highlands by noting that “There is an attempt to increase living standards with standards and houses of 6×6 meters made up of preconstructed materials […].  Families ‘are taking these furniture to their communities or larger cities.’  What sense does it make to raise these levels if they are not real?”  She also mentioned that this could imply a regression regarding food sovereignty: “We are speaking of campesinos who could sustain themselves in precarious but dignified conditions.  The development model represented by the CRS Program demands that people have no autonomous means of subsistence, but rather be buying everything, thus making them completely dependent on the market: without money, they cannot eat.”

Regarding the counterinsurgent purposes that the CRS Program could be said to serve, Dr. Marcos Arana compared the project with the “strategic hamlets” implemented in Vietnam in 1962 to dismantle communities and their links with the land and collectivity.

For more information (in Spanish):

Critican el despojo que implican las ciudades rurales sustentables, La Jornada, 20 de mayo de 2012

La mercantilización de los bosques, motivo para retirar a comunidades en Chiapas, La Jornada, 21 de mayo de 2012

Programa rural viola derechos de indígenas, La Jornada, 18 de mayo de 2012

Programa del foro: Excluxión…. Inclusión neoliberal, Miradas sobre las ciudades rurales sustentables

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Peace Network presents report regarding Sustainable Rural Cities Program (18 May 2012)

Chiapas: CAIK presents documentary “To there you will move”” (7 March 2012)

Chiapas: Nuevo Juan de Grijalva denounces repression and harassment (8 June 2011)

Chiapas: opening of new Sustainable Rural City in Los Altos (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: Las Abejas’ communiqué denounces construction of rural cities in the Chiapas Highlands (22 May 2010)


Chiapas: The Peace Network presents report regarding Sustainable Rural Cities

May 18, 2012

Presentación del Informe en conferencia de prensa @ SIPAZ

Presentation of report in press-conference @ SIPAZ

On 10 May, the Peace Network, a space for action and reflection made up of 10 organizations that have since 2001 sought to support processes of peace and reconciliation in Chiapas together with the Collective for Kollective Analysis and information (CAIK) presented the document “From Earth to Asphalt, Report of the Civil Mission for Observation of the Peace Network and CAIK on the Sustainable Rural Cities Program.”

In October 2011, these organizations carried out a Civil Mission of Observation in two Sustainable Rural Cities already populated by  persons as well as 4 others that are in the construction or planning stages, with the goal of documenting the present situation in terms of the human-rights situation in which the population finds itself directly affected by the Sustainable Rural Cities Program (CRS) that the Chiapas state-government has been developing.  Another key reason for the report is that the CRS Program leads to the forced displacement of people from their communities, given that behind the official objectives to combat poverty are found hidden interests seeking economic and political profit.

The testimonies of the affected persons, presented in this report, illustrate the different means by which the CRS Program violates several internationally recognized human rights, including the right to self-determination of peoples.  During the event also was presented the “Until there you go” documentary that examines the same subject, the product of CAIK.

For more information (in Spanish):

Denuncian plan de desintegración social mediante las ciudades rurales sustentables (La Jornada, 14 de mayo)

Subyace desintegración cultural en reordenamiento territorial en Chiapas: Ong, La Jornada, 13 de mayo de 2012

Página Web de la Red por la Paz

Audios de la presentación (Radio zapatista, 10 de mayo de 2012)

Trailer del video: Hasta ahí te mueves (CAIK, 2012)

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: CAIK presents documentary “To there you will move”” (7 March 2012)

Chiapas: Nuevo Juan de Grijalva denounces repression and harassment (8 June 2011)

Chiapas: opening of new Sustainable Rural City in Los Altos (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: Las Abejas’ communiqué denounces construction of rural cities in the Chiapas Highlands (22 May 2010)


Chiapas: CAIK present documentary on Rural Cities, “To there you will move”

March 7, 2012

On 16 February, the Collective for Collective Analysis and Information (CAIK) presented the documentary “To there you will move” regarding the Rural Sustainable Cities (CRS), a project promoted by the federal and state governments to combat marginalization and population dispersion.  The documentary in question demonstrates that the project has not improved the situation for purported beneficiaries but rather has caused them new problems.  This material which seeks to share counter-hegemonic information and to generate awareness includes multiple testimonies principally by residents of Nuevo Juan de Grijalva (Ostuacán) and Santiago el Pinar.  It also includes interviews with governmental officials who work in the CRS project as well as television spots from the state-government.

For more information (in Spanish):

Trailer de documental: Hasta ahí te mueves

Ciudades rurales, proyecto que enmascara ambición territorial, La Jornada 18 February 2012

Mayan descendants struggling to cope in modern world, BBC News, 15 February 2012

For more information from SIPAZ (in English):

Chiapas: Nuevo Juan de Grijalva denounces repression and harassment (8 June 2011)

Chiapas: opening of new Sustainable Rural City in Los Altos (14 April 2011)

Chiapas: Las Abejas’ communiqué denounces construction of rural cities in the Chiapas Highlands (22 May 2010)